It is nearly playoff time, which means it is almost playoff beards time. Which, in turn, means that it’s almost stories about playoff beards time. Except not “almost,” the time is now.

Your first beard faces of this year? The Orlando Magic, who decided to go hirsute after considering the exact opposite. From the Orlando Sentinel:

“It’s one of those team things,” Richardson said. “Togetherness. It’s something fun at the same time. It’s going to definitely look funny, I know.”

The players said they collectively made the decision between Monday’s victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers and Wednesday’s win over the New York Knicks.

“We talked about doing something as a team,” center Dwight Howard said.

“We thought about the bald heads, but some of us — myself — don’t look right with a bald head. Then we thought about letting our hair grow out; then [we realized] we’ve got a lot of guys who are going bald, so [it would] look funny with just patches in their head.

“So the beard is the only way to go. It’ll be tough for me and the young guys to really get it going, but we’re all in this together.”

There are three reasons that this is the correct choice: 1) Rik Smits; 2) Gilbert Arenas jokes; 3) beards are great. Couldn’t be more onboard with this, especially to see what happens with J.J. Redick’s babyface.

Not to mention, Dwight’s encouraging all male Magic fans to grow their beards. More beards, more fun.